We all have to pay the bills. And to pay mine, I currently work as a residential counselor in a school for teenage girls with behavioral disorders. It’s a tough job for many reasons, but one of my biggest pet peeves about it has nothing to do with the work. As you might imagine if you now work, or have worked with this age group, I spend a lot of my time engulfed by Twilight posters, Edward vs. Jacob mania, and obsessive viewing of both movies (with lots of squealing in the Jacob taking off his entire shirt to wipe away Bella’s small trickle of forehead blood scene).
I am glad that a series like this has gotten kids who wouldn’t normally pick up a book to do just that, but at the same time these are often the only books they read. I think back to myself at that age and I can admit that much of what I read was equally trashy, but I was reading a wider variety of books as well. What does a generation of young women raised with Bella as their heroine look like? Are teenage boys reading the series?? If not, are they reading anything?
This post is not about whether or not we love/liked/hate/or have always hated Twilight. This post is a desperate call back to an earlier era. The days where we were all just budding young readers ourselves, searching our classroom shelves for another book our teacher would let us borrow, staying up way past bed time with a flashlight under the blankets, spending summer vacations reading everything and anything from the public library.
Before the fan phenomes of Harry Potter and Twilight, what were the great books of your childhood and adolescence? I propose a Top 10 list of your favorite books before age 18. Not books assigned by school, but those treasured books you got lost inside of. The books that lit your interest in reading and started the love affair you now continue as an adult. If you must include these series I can accept that, but only list them once. For example: #1. The Harry Potter Series, NOT: #1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, #2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, etc. I’m really curious to see what you all will include, I wonder how many of our lists will be similar, and how much they will vary. Also I'm not trying to exclude those members who may be around 18 themselves, or younger. I want to know what you're reading too!
Let’s get started.